The police chief in Ferguson, Mo., apologized Thursday to the family of Michael Brown and to the town after weeks of outrage and often violent clashes over the fatal police shooting of the unarmed black teenager.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said he “deeply apologize[d] to the Brown family” for the way investigators left Brown’s body in the street for hours following the shooting death at the hands of officer Darren Wilson in August.
“I’m also aware of the pain and the feeling of mistrust felt in some of the African-American community towards the police department,” Jackson said. “The city belongs to all of us and we’re all a part of this community. It is clear that we have much work to do. As a community, a city and a nation, we have real problems to solve, not just in Ferguson, but the entire region and beyond. For any mistakes I have made, I take full responsibility.”
Jackson also apologized for the police response to protests, which included what many considered an excessive use of teargas and force to breakup demonstrations.
“I do want to say to any peaceful protestor who did not feel that I did enough to protect their constitutional right to protest, I am sorry for that,” he said. “The right of the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect. If anyone who is peacefully exercising that right is upset and angry, I feel responsible, and I’m sorry.”